From all appearances, Macy’s website was unable to support the number of shoppers that visited this Black Friday. A number of different messages were presented to visitors:
A message advising of a “temporary shopping jam”, and then presenting a 10-second countdown before letting visitors in. Many visitors reported that the site threw additional errors after they did get in.
Some visitors received an advisory that the site was down for scheduled maintenance – scheduled maintenance on Black Friday?
Other messages included “access denied” errors.
From all reports, this shopping season has broken all records – clearly not all websites expected that to be the case.
There are three clear takeaway’s from what happened with Macy’s:
Always test your site to be sure that it can handle at least 20 percent more traffic than it received last year. It is better to err on the side of being over-prepared…
Have solid contingency plans that are implemented if the site falters.
Be very careful when writing the error messages that will be presented during this period. These messages should be tailored specifically to the holiday deluge.